Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pig Tail Soup

Chinese people love eating parts of the pig. Apparently each part of the pig corresponds to the parts in us humans. So if you want to strengthen your legs, eating pig trotters are the way to go.

Or if you want to become smarter, you go for the pig's brain (and we all thought pigs are stupid creatures!).

When I was in my teens and studying for major exams, my mom would specially order a whole brain of the pig from the pork butcher. She would then boil the brain with some herbs in a slow cooker and I'd take that, soup, brain and all. This was to ensure my brain got all the nutrients it needed to perform well under stress.

I do know now that consuming the innards and organs and yes, the brain of the poor pig, does increase one's cholesterol level. However, at that age (remember I was in my teens), I'd imbibe the stuff my mom cooked because they were delicious in a morbid way. I'd always feel a bit like Supergirl after taking these soups.

Pig's brain, when cooked, tastes like a rich yet soft tofu. Did the brain soup make me brainier? I don't know but I have been a star student since I was 11 years old. I have gotten enough A's in my exams that my parents have nothing to complain about.....or maybe the pig brains did help!

I consider myself very much Cantonese as I love all parts of the pig - intestines, brain, liver (oooh, especially liver which Nic always cautions me about since we don't know if the liver's healthy or not) and ears (have you eaten crunchy braised pig ears? Yummy!).

Today I'm sharing with you a recipe using pig's tail.

Now if we go by the logic that parts of the pig that you eat benefits the part of your body, then why are we eating pig's tail? We don't have tails, right? I suspect the tail will benefit our lower back. I do love Dang Gui so the addition of this herb in this soup should be reason enough for me to like this soup.

Pig Tail Soup

300 gm spare ribs (blanched)
1 pig tail (blanched and chopped into smaller chunks)*

10 dried red dates (seeded)
2 whole dried scallops
1 tablespoon kei chi or goji berry
10 gm dried longan
10 gm dang gui slices

1.2 liter water

Bring water to boil. Add all ingredients and bring up to a rolling boil for 10 minutes with the pot uncovered. After that, put the lid on the pot, turn fire down to low so that soup simmers. Simmer this for 2 hours. Season to taste with salt. Serve warm.

Let me know if you come across any pig tail herbal soup recipes too!

*If you cannot get pig tail, you can omit it. It tastes all right even if you just used spare ribs. I believe you can even use chicken if you don't consume pork.

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